New wild meadow 'brings happiness' to people living in Sheffield community

A Sheffield group has worked together to plant wild flowers in a local park to improve biodiversity and bring joy to the community.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 11:16 am
Children have been smelling the wildflowers.

Wild Sharrow was formed in January by parents who lived close to Mount Pleasant Park in Sharrow and recognised the importance of the park for residents of all ages.

The group worked with Sharrow Community Forum and the Sheffield City Council Parks and Countryside team to enhance the park by planting wild flowers.

Kelly Wood, a volunteer at Wild Sharrow, said: “We noticed how beautiful Mount Pleasant Park was and how well used it was. We wanted to do something to celebrate the park and bring people together. Flowers felt like a small effective way of coming together to do that.

Sufiyan Obaid loves the wildflowers.

"The main bulk of the work was volunteer led. There was lots of hands on labour, digging meadows, dispersing compost. We got some real support from other organisations, the council were really supportive in enabling it to happen.

“People walk past, they are smiling, kids are smelling the flowers, there are bees everywhere. It has been tough on peoples’ mental health over the last 18 months - we were really lucky to bring happiness to people who live in Sharrow. A lot of people don’t have gardens. Research shows green spaces have a positive impact on mental health.”

Sharrow Community Forum provided a community chest grant to pay for seeds and compost, and also acted as an official ‘Friends Of’ group, enabling the council to lend their involvement.

Maria Kelly, a Quality Service Manager at Sharrow Community Forum and local resident, said: “Mount Pleasant Park is everybody’s front garden. We didn’t know what to expect when we started but the general feeling was we can work something out.

Patrick Meleady at work on the garden.

“We had support of Green Estate (a Sheffield social enterprise), they offered volunteers an opportunity to learn about the different species of flowers. Volunteers could then run a scavenger hunt for the kids at our picnic.

“It hasn’t been vandalised. People have been respectful of the work that’s gone into it. It’s a low cost way of having a big impact on nature, biodiversity and community.”

When the wild meadow was completed after about four months work, a picnic was held there to celebrate the work of everyone involved in the project.

Mount Pleasant Park on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield
Mount Pleasant Park on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield